As tied to our phones, tablets, and computers as we are today, it is easier than ever to utilize apps to track weight loss, exercise, diet and activities. But how do you choose the best ones? How do you know which ones will work and which ones won’t?
Today I’m going to show you the apps that I personally use, most of them on a daily basis, to stay motivated and keep on track. For the most part, they are free to use, though I use the premium version of one.
Fitbit: Okay, so it’s not technically an app itself, but it has an app. And from what I understand, the app itself is free to use, even if you don’t have one of the bands, though its main functions are tied directly to the tracker. I have this app tracking my daily steps, miles, calories burned, active minutes, hours I’ve hit 250 steps, and how many days I’ve exercised each week. It also tracks my amount and quality of sleep, and how much weight I’ve lost. These are the things that are tracked automatically just by me wearing my Fitbit tracker and using an Aria scale that is linked to the app. Manually, I can note how much water I drink, and the amount of calories I’ve consumed, however, these are usually filled in by my use of the next app on my list.
My Fitness Pal: This app has been a life-changer. It is free to download and most of its functionality is free as well. It can also be used on the computer. This app has the capability to sync with a ton of other apps, including Fitbit and Apple Health. This app’s main function is to track nutrition. I started using it when it was only accessible by computer, and it has only gotten better over the 12 years since it launched. Along with a massive database of foods that you can search, there is also a barcode scanning function that allows you to scan any commercially packaged food and automatically import all of its nutritional information. There is also a function to enter your own recipes, either manually or by entering the website you found it on. Counting calories has never been easier than this app makes it. We purchased the premium addition so that we can more easily track our carbs, fat, and protein, rather than just calories. There are other functions on the app, but these are the main points.
Achievement: Are better health, a smaller waist, and not sweating when you walk up stairs not enough incentive for you? Well, have I got an app for you! Get paid to walk, lose weight, and make healthy choices. Yes, you read that right. And it’s a free app! You earn 10k points and you get a gift card for $10. Yes, it takes a while to get to 10k points. For instance, I slept over 7 hours so I earned 6 points. I weighed myself and got another 6 points. I walked 10k steps and earned 28 points. I answered a health questionnaire and received 100 points. They add up slowly, but they add up! Who doesn’t want free money for making your body a better place to live?
iPeriod: Yeah, yeah, guys cover your eyes or keep scrolling. But I’ll tell you, this free little app is very handy! It allows me to not just track Aunt Flo’s ETA, but also my moods, symptoms, and ovulation. It’s also useful for planning ahead since you can look at projected dates months in advance. For women who are very irregular, it can be helpful to track symptoms so you can better gauge what’s going on. And for someone like me, who deals with PMDD, knowing when my cycle is going to go into a tailspin helps me grasp better control of it before I go into full on meltdown mode.
Pintrest: Who doesn’t love Pintrest? It is filled with a wealth of recipes of every kind, inspirational quotes, and exercise tips (along with wedding dress ideas, cute new purses, and a million other ways to sidetrack your searches). But there is no doubt that I’ve found some wonderful ideas on this hour-eater.
So this is a glimpse at some of my favorite fitness and health related apps (even if Pintrest doesn’t really count). Comment below if you have a favorite health app that the world needs to know about!